As children return to school and more buses are on the roads, it is important for motorists to know the laws and prioritize safety.

When a bus is stopped with its flashing red lights activated and its stop arm extended, drivers are required to stop when approaching a school bus from any direction. If motorists are on a highway that is divided by a barrier or unpaved area, they are required to stop if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus. If there is no barrier, all lanes in all directions must stop.

While most drivers follow these traffic laws, there are still some who are either unaware or disregard the law completely. In fact, Hoosier bus drivers report an average of more than 2,500 stop-arm violations each day.

To keep young Hoosiers safe and hold motorists accountable, lawmakers passed a law increasing the penalties for individuals who fail to stop when a school bus stop arm is extended. Through the new law, the penalty for injuring or killing someone as a result of recklessly passing a school bus has been increased, which could potentially mean larger fines, and longer jail sentences for violators. A court can also suspend your driver’s license for 90 days, or for a year if it’s your second offense.

For the safety of both children and drivers, it is important to continuously watch out for school buses and the students around them as they return to the roads this month.

Click here to see helpful tips for motorists to best keep young Hoosiers safe.

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